Of all the national TV broadcasters in the UK, Channel 5 has the worst reputation. Its content is sensationalist and downmarket (it’s where the declining Big Brother show has gone to die) but this advert-scheduling screw-up really takes the biscuit. The fact they had a documentary on Whitney’s life and death barely a week after her passing says a lot, but what’s even worse is that nobody at the station seemed to think the two adverts featured here might clash just a tiny wee bit…
Thanks to Rod Connolly!
The anti-piracy group BREIN has been accused by a soundtrack composer of not having permission to use his work in their well known “you wouldn’t steal a car” anti-downloading campaign. The image above is a still from the infamous advert, which has been satirised heavily (most famously by The IT Crowd).
You couldn’t make this shit up. Well no you could - but no-one would believe you. Which is why Melchior Rietveldt, the Dutch musician whose work was used on the huge international ad campaign after it was commissioned for a only one-off screening, wore a wire to record the conversations he had with his national royalty collection agency Buma/Stemra. As if it wasn’t bad enough that his music was used without permission (in a bloody anti-piracy campaign, of all things) Mr Reitveldt was then told by a representative of Buma/Stemra, Jochem Gerrits, that the issue could be resolved if Gerrits was given a 33% share of the possible million-Euro-plus pay out that Rietveldt was due. In effect, a bribe.
It all started back in 2006, when the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group BREIN reportedly asked musician Melchior Rietveldt to compose music for an anti-piracy video. The video in question was to be shown at a local film festival, and under these strict conditions the composer accepted the job.
However, according to a report from Pownews the anti-piracy ad was recycled for various other purposes without the composer’s permission. When Rietveldt bought a Harry Potter DVD early 2007, he noticed that the campaign video with his music was on it. And this was no isolated incident.
The composer now claims that his work has been used on tens of millions of Dutch DVDs, without him receiving any compensation for it. According to Rietveldt’s financial advisor, the total sum in missed revenue amounts to at least a million euros ($1,300,000).
The existence of excellent copyright laws and royalty collecting agencies in the Netherlands should mean that the composer received help and support with this problems, but this couldn’t be further from what actually happened.
Soon after he discovered the unauthorized distribution of his music Rietveldt alerted the local music royalty collecting agency Buma/Stemra. The composer demanded compensation, but to his frustration he heard very little from Buma/Stemra and he certainly didn’t receive any royalties.
Earlier this year, however, a breakthrough seemed to loom on the horizon when Buma/Stemra board member Jochem Gerrits contacted the composer with an interesting proposal. Gerrits offered to help out the composer in his efforts to get paid for his hard work, but the music boss had a few demands of his own.
In order for the deal to work out the composer had to assign the track in question to the music publishing catalogue of the Gerrits, who owns High Fashion Music. In addition to this, the music boss demanded 33% of all the money set to be recouped as a result of his efforts.
Unbelievable! I hope Mr Rietveldt rinses these bastards for everything they’ve got. Here’s the original BREIN anti-piracy advert:
Thanks to Paul Shetler.
Morrissey has allowed high-street department store, John Lewis to use a cover version of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” on the chain’s £6 million Christmas advertising campaign. The track has been covered by Slow Moving Millie (aka Amelia Warner, ex-wife of Colin Farrell, apparently), which follows on from last year’s take of Elton John’s “Your Song” recorded by Ellie Goulding.
According to the Daily Telegraph Morrissey is “delighted” that the chain was using the track. Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s marketing director, is quoted as saying:
“We know our audience holds The Smiths and bands from that era in high esteem.”
“It’s a magical feeling when you find that perfect present for someone; there’s a great sense of anticipation from the moment you buy it to the moment you give the gift on the big day.
“That feeling is exactly what we’ve tried to capture with this year’s Christmas campaign.”
Ruth Paterson, head of marketing at Rough Trade, the record label which released most of The Smiths’ work, said she was entertained by the collaboration.
“I do like the idea of a really good song by a really good band being played in Middle England’s living rooms,” she told The Times.
“I’m sure that wasn’t the song’s intended purpose, but I think that’s a good thing.”
As Morrissey edges towards a pensionable age, the “substantial pecuniary boost” this ad will bring will no doubt be greatly appreciated - though perhaps not by his fans, as if that will matter.
After Morrissey and Christmas, who’s next? And what other advert involving high street business and alleged hip musician would make for the most unlikely pairing? Suggestions, please.
“Chaque jour une vie nouvelle” or “A New Life Everyday” claimed David Bowie’s advert for Vittel Water back in 2003. The ad was tied-in to the release of Bowie’s Reality album, and had the rock god sharing a house with his stage alter egos - including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, the Scary Monsters Clown and the Diamond Dog.
Anthony is a web / graphic designer and musician who lives in New York. In 2009, Anthony created these rather fine faux adverts on his site Seriously Bleak.
Called Celebrity Endorsed the ads show a selection of strangely alluring and bizarre celebrity endorsed products - I’m all for the Merv Griffen scented trampoline, though several friend’s are torn between Ted Danson’s Siamese hot-dog and Armand Assante’s neck wallet. Whichever is your favorite, I do hope Anthony produces more of these fine celebrity endorsements asap.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stranded at sea and thought “Hey, I’d love some chips an dip right now.” Well now it’s a reality!”
Via Seriously Bleak
More from Celebrity Endorsed, after the jump…